At the recent Keep Sarasota County Beautiful 30th annual Volunteer Awards Recognition Dinner, Hershorin Schiff Community Day School was presented with the School of Excellence Award in recognition of its environmental stewardship curriculum. Student representatives from kindergarten and 4th grade – along with head of school Dan Ceaser, K-8 director Robin Sweeting, and parents – attended the dinner to accept the award.
Environmental stewardship is a key component of the curriculum at Community Day School. While addressing numerous ways the school encourages students to be “green,” the award nomination focused on a schoolwide cleanup effort at Siesta Key Beach in March of 2018 that mixed community service and learning. The entire K-8 student body heard from environmental experts on topics including “Understanding Our Tortoises and Sea Turtles,” “Sand Investigations,” “Erosion, Environmental Issues and Sea Debris,” and “Why Worms?” and collected trash to be sorted and studied by Sarasota County scientists.
The children learned and worked in teams. The events of the morning showcased the benefits and effectiveness of Project-Based Learning – which is at the heart of Community Day School’s educational philosophy – a dynamic teaching method where children actively explore real-world problems and work collaboratively in the search for solutions.
“We are working to create global citizens who are problem-solvers, who can work cooperatively, and who are committed to improving the world. Instead of limiting learning to textbooks, Community Day teaches students – through doing – to lead as citizens, stewards and scholars,” says Community Day head of school Dan Ceaser. “During the beach clean-up, we were particularly grateful to the local science experts who donated their time to help our students better understand environmental issues that are relevant to Sarasota as a waterfront community.”
At Community Day School, students of all ages – preschool through eighth grade – work and learn in the pesticide-free organic garden and outdoor classroom every single day. The need to respect the planet and the creatures that inhabit it is demonstrated in coursework and special presentations throughout the year that bridge curriculum lines.
For more about Community Day, go to CommunityDay.org or call (941) 552-2770.
About Hershorin Schiff Community Day School
The mission of the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School, which serves students in preschool through eighth grade, is to impact the world by creating a community where children of all faiths demonstrate integrity, academic excellence, and a desire to improve the world. Community Day offers a rigorous, project-based academic program in a diverse and vibrant learning environment rooted in the Jewish values of honesty, integrity, mutual trust and respect. For more information, visit the website at communityday.org or call (941) 552-2770.